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1973 BMW 3.0 CSA E9

Highlights 


• Family owned since 1978
• Dry stored since at least 1978
• Engine and gearbox rebuild less than 1,000 miles ago


The Background


Designed in-house by Wilhelm Hofmeister. BMW produced the E9 coupé range from 1968 to 1975, and they were very successful, both on the road and on track. It’s a legendary vehicle, and rightly regarded as one of BMW’s greatest models.

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The History 


It’s rare to find a vehicle with the kind of history this has. First owned by David Prophets of Birmingham in 1973 (as in David Prophet the racing driver and one-time F1 driver), it then went to the Station Garage Company. We think it may have been used as a company car or demonstrator at both garages. The first private owner was in 1978, and was the father of the current owner – so this car has been in the same family for 43 years!

Having been UK based and dry-stored during all of that time, this matching numbers car presents in very original, unrestored condition. It is now tax and MOT exempt, and offers a great opportunity to acquire an extremely rare, original car that is rapidly appreciating in value.

Sadly, the current owner isn’t able to use the car as they feel it should be used, so is reluctantly offering this family heirloom for sale, hoping it is purchased by someone that will love and cherish it as much as they have.

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The Paperwork 


As you would expect with a vehicle in this kind of condition, and that’s been family-owned for more than four decades, it comes with a wealth of paperwork. From multiple MOTs going back over many years, to a large number of receipts and invoices detailing servicing and maintenance over the years, there’s a large folder of documentation accompanying it. These all confirm the low original mileage and show how well the car has been maintained.

The current and previous V5, as well as a copy of the original registration document from 1973 also confirm the car’s provenance and ownership history. All of the receipts confirming the recent engine rebuild and gearbox refurbishment are present, detailing more than £12,000 of recommissioning work by specialist workshops. The owner is also providing an original Autobooks Owner’s Workshop Manual, and the car comes with 2 sets of keys with original David Prophet key-fobs.

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The Interior 


Velour is the absolute king of interior materials for a 70s car, and this lovely coupé’s interior is swatched in acres of it. Deep blue, ribbed velour graces all of the seats, and is nicely complemented by the dark blue, quilted door cards and wood trim on the door tops and dashboard. All of the internal brightwork, switchgear and other elements are in very good condition, with everything working very well. The seats and door cards are all in very good condition. There is some light wear on the front seats, but certainly less than you’d expect on a car of this vintage.

Unusually for a car of this age, even the headlining is in excellent condition. The Hollandia electric sunroof and lovely pillarless electric windows all work smoothly and well. All of the cabin carpets are in fine condition too, as is the boot carpet. On the underside of the boot lid, the original toolkit is present and correct, and under the boot carpet there is a full-size spare wheel in very good condition.

What really strikes you about this car, is just how original it is. The original delivery stickers are still present in the windscreen and in very good condition – even the original eight-track Radio Mobile sound system is still there, in good working order, and comes with a collection of eight-track tapes.

Internally, as it has predominantly been in storage for a number of years, it would benefit from a valet and detailing, but overall it is in very good condition.

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The Exterior 


BMW really did design one of the all-time great coupé shapes when they made the CS. That smooth, swooping shape has beautiful clean lines, made under commission by Karmann, and a modern, pillarless design. The Fjord Blue paintwork of this car complements the styling perfectly, and is utterly timeless. The original 14-inch wheels are shod in Goodyear 195/70 VR14 tyres, offering a cosseting and comfortable ride, and looking just right. They’re all in very nice condition, as is all of the external brightwork. 

The theme of originality continues outside. Everything is completely original and in the correct specification – even the number plates are the original 70s items. It’s so good to see a car of this vintage looking so straight and original.

Underneath, the car looks very clean, straight and original. Having the vehicle dry-stored for almost its entire life has clearly done it the world of good. You’d be hard pressed to believe you were looking at the underside of a car that was nearly 50 years old.

Obviously, this is an original, unrestored, 48 year old car, so there are blemishes, minor scratches and some age-related wear. There is some minor paint cracking and small bubbling on a couple of the wheel arches and on the top corners of the front wings. The bonnet has some minor scratches, the N/S has a dent to the lower bodywork and the O/S has a crease in the lower door section. Neither of these dents has cracked the paintwork and are relatively simple fixes.

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The Mechanics 


Mechanically the car sounds great, the 2,985cc straight-six, twin-carb firing up readily and running smoothly. This is unsurprising, as in 2017 at 69,006 miles, a complete engine rebuild was carried out by BM Euroservice of Wolverhampton at a cost of £7,000. At the same time, the entire braking system was refurbished as well. Less than 1,000 miles have been covered since then, so mechanically the car is in superb condition. When new, this drivetrain produced 180bhp at 6,000rpm, and having been recently rebuilt, we’re confident it will still provide a driving experience as close to new as possible.

In June of 2017, the owner also had the 3-speed automatic gearbox and torque converter completely refurbished by Norfolk Automatics. The car also features a full stainless steel exhaust system by Sterling.

The owner assures us that the car drives and handles very well, everything operating smoothly and exactly as it should.

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The Appeal 


If you’re reading this, the likelihood is that you’re a big fan of classic cars, and probably of classic BMWs. As such, you probably don’t need us to tell you just how desirable the E9 is. In 3.0 CS trim, it’s the perfect compromise of power, great design, comfort and luxury.

They’re an increasingly rare vehicle, especially in this kind of original condition. When was the last time you saw one of these on the road, let alone one with its original number plates, wheels and paintwork? We adore the style of this car. The pillarless coupé design is perfectly complemented by the Fjord Blue paintwork and deep blue velour interior. And what an interior it is, the seats are plush and in good condition, the dashboard has that classically timeless design that was the staple of 70s BMWs, and the switchgear all feels wonderfully weighted and well designed.

When you consider that, less than 1,000 miles ago, the car was subject to a £12,000 re-commissioning process, including a completely rebuilt engine, braking system, gearbox and torque converter, it represents astonishingly good value. They’re not building any more of these, and they’re certainly not getting any cheaper. We feel this represents a great opportunity to acquire, not only an appreciating classic in very original condition, but what we believe is one of the most beautiful cars ever built.

From a driving perspective, E9s have always had a great reputation as a driver’s machine. That classic 3-litre straight-six pulls well and sounds wonderful. Twinned with the automatic gearbox, it provides swift and effortless cruising, twinned with BMW’s legendary reliability and sporting feel it makes for a compelling package.

With a little bit of attention to some minor bodywork faults and a good detailing, this could realistically be a concours car. It would certainly be one of the stars of the show at any classic car meet you car to mention. We love everything about it - the history, the original condition, the specification, the style. If you’re looking for a practical classic with masses of style, wide appeal and heaps of potential, look no further.

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1973
  • Make BMW
  • Model 3.0
  • Colour Blue
  • Odometer 69,116 Miles
  • Engine size 2985
  • Location Staffordshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
10 bids from 7 bidders
  • Ben Neo £30,750 29/11/21
  • colin-b•••• £30,500 29/11/21
  • Ben Neo £30,250 27/11/21
  • colin-b•••• £30,000 26/11/21
  • Erdal £29,000 26/11/21
  • colin-b•••• £28,500 25/11/21
  • Grahama•••• £28,000 25/11/21
  • matthew•••• £17,500 25/11/21
  • DonTrad•••• £5,000 25/11/21
  • Melap S•••• £1,000 25/11/21

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